Car dealer donates to AAIM
BY JEANNE MILLSAP For Sun-Times Media January 24, 2013 11:28AM
Dan McMillan, CFO of Rizza Ford in Orland Park, announces donations to Erin’s AIMM For Change, a scholarship program named for the daughter of Sandy and Gerry Olmsted. | Mary Compton~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 26, 2013 6:08AM
Joe Rizza Ford of Orland Park this week handed over a donation of $4,000 to the charity Erin’s AAIM for Change, a contribution the dealership knows will go a long way in the prevention of alcohol-related driving deaths.
AAIM, the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists, is a charity that’s near and dear to the hearts of those at Rizza Ford. In March 1997, Carl Sandburg High School senior Erin E. Olmsted lost her life when she was involved in a car accident while riding as a passenger with an intoxicated driver. The 17-year-old was an honor student, varsity gymnastics team captain and gymnastic coach at Tumble On U.S.A. in Orland Park.
The tragedy spurred Erin’s family and friends to begin AAIM, a nonprofit organization committed to helping victims of drunk driving accidents with financial, emotional and legal support. The organization also provides community education about the consequences of driving while intoxicated.
“We are relentless in our pursuit to aid this important organization,” said Dan McMillan, Joe Rizza Ford chief financial officer.
“This was very much appreciated by the Erin E. Olmsted Scholarship Fund and by the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists,” said Erin’s father, Gerry Olmsted.
The work to build and continue the efforts of Erin’s AAIM “makes us feel like we’re turning a horrible event into something positive,” said mom Sandy Olmsted. “It keeps her memory alive. We hope she’s proud of our efforts.”
The dollars dedicated to the scholarship fund will go to the educational advancement of students at both Sandburg and Plainfield East high schools.
The dealership’s donation came from two events. One was a contest held at the Ford Go Forward Night for the debut of the new Fusion Hybrid. Rizza Ford took the prize for the most who attended the event and were awarded a check for $500 to the charity of its choice.
The second event was also a competition, sponsored by the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, for the most votes garnered in an online competition.
Rizza Ford received the most votes in this event as well and donated the $3,500 prize to AAIM.
The dealership also raises money for AAIM at its annual Gridiron Golf Classic. Joe Rizza Ford of Orland Park is a full-line Ford, Lincoln and Kia dealership.
The organization also sponsors other fundraising events, such as a golf outing with the local Pioneer football program and a 5K run/walk at Centennial Park.
And every year right around Erin’s birthday, Aug. 6, a handful of letters arrive at the Olmsted’s home containing checks to help fund the effort.
“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Sandy said. “But it’s a good feeling when someone remembers her.”
For more information on Erin’s AAIM for Change, visit www.erinsaaimforchange.org.